February 14, 2019 / 7:56 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Feb 14

(Adds company news items and futures)

Feb 14 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 13 points lower at 7,178 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, while FTSE 100 futures were up 0.18 percent ahead of the cash market open.

* LANCASHIRE: Property and casualty insurer Lancashire Holdings Ltd swung to profit in 2018, partly helped by a rise in gross written premiums, and said it expects to see higher rates across many of its businesses.

* MICRO FOCUS: British software firm Micro Focus International reported a better-than-expected 5.3 percent decline in pro-forma revenue for the year to end-October and said the trajectory, after disposals, would continue to improve.

* RESTAURANT GROUP: Restaurant Group Plc said on Thursday its Chief Executive Andy McCue has decided to leave the company due to ‘extenuating personal circumstances’.

* COCA COLA HBC AG: Soft drink bottler Coca Cola HBC AG reported a 9.6 percent rise in full-year comparable core profit, boosted by higher volumes and lower costs.

* ASTRAZENECA: British drugmaker AstraZeneca Plc beat expectations for product sales in the fourth quarter and forecast a second consecutive year of growth, driven by gains in emerging markets including China and demand for its new cancer medicines.

* MONEYSUPERMARKET.COM: British price comparison website Moneysupermarket.Com Group Plc said its chairman Bruce Carnegie-Brown would step down after nearly a decade at the helm.

* CONVATEC: Catheter and colostomy bag maker ConvaTec played down the risks of even a no-deal Brexit to its business on Thursday, saying it was making plans to stock pile appropriately to deal with any potential supply disruptions.

* ASHMORE: Emerging markets-focused fund manager Ashmore posted on Thursday a 3.8 percent increase in assets under management on the back of net inflows and said the outlook was positive.

* INDIVIOR: Drugmaker Indivior Plc reported a rise in full-year operating profit on Thursday, helped by lower operating expenses as it braces for the launch of cheaper copies of its blockbuster drug Suboxone after a long patent battle in U.S. courts.

* GOLD: Gold prices edged higher on Thursday as soft U.S. inflation data raised expectations that the Federal Reserve will pause rate hikes this year, while investors were looking for developments in trade talks between Washington and Beijing.

* OIL: Oil prices rose on Thursday, buoyed by hopes that potential progress in the latest Sino-U.S. tariff talks would improve the global economic outlook, and as China’s trade figures including crude imports beat forecasts.

* EX-DIVS: BP, Hargreaves, RDS A, Royal Dutch Shell, Unilever will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 19.7 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations

* The UK blue chip index closed 0.8 percent higher on Wednesday, as miners gained and upbeat earnings lifted packaging firms DS Smith and Smurfit Kappa, while reports Brexit could be delayed eased some fears of a disruptive no-deal exit.

* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on:

TODAY’S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

> Other business headlines

* 3000 Xtra : visit topnews.session.rservices.com

* For Top News : topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Samantha Machado in Bengaluru)

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